Another week in lockdown completed. Half of me wants this all to finish asap, the other half doesn’t want it to finish too soon if it means we risk another wave of this horrible illness, and more people suffering.
The long-term implications of Covid-19 were brought home by an email from the Brentwood Half saying they may have to cancel the race next March. It takes a year to organise and there won’t be enough time if they don’t start soon which, of course, they can’t do until things become clearer. In the meantime, they are organising 10, 200 question, online quizzes to raise money for the Brentwood Rotary Club and its connected charities. To find more details and join in, click here.
Over the last week Debbie has been keeping some of us on our toes with more of her heart-pumping, muscle-aching, HIIT sessions. They don’t seem to get any easier, but I think all of us who are participating are beginning to feel the benefit. Details of sessions are posted on the BRR WhatsApp Group.
The Facebook parkrun discussion group has come up with a nice little challenge to make your daily runs a bit more interesting. It’s the parkrun run-a-word challenge. You have to complete a run that includes road names that begin with each letter in parkrun (e.g. the ‘p’ could be Parsloes Avenue). Half of the fun is identifying the right roads and then turning them into a route. My route starts and finishes near Barking Park and should be around 5k – I’ll let you know next week how it goes.
For those of you following the virtual running club training plan (200420 – Virtual running group training plan), this is the rest week. But, of course, being runners, you’ll be glad to know this doesn’t actually mean resting, just cutting back a bit on intensity to allow your body to consolidate the fitness you’ve built so far.
Instead of the intervals session there is an easy run with strides. In case you’ve forgotten, strides are short bursts of pace (20 seconds or so). In this case, they are focused on improving technique. Over the 20 seconds start to increase your speed, keeping your upper-body upright, head up and arms driving back. Keep that speed for about 10 seconds before slowly reducing your stride length and cadence (foot turnover). It’s not a sprint but a controlled fast effort, that helps you experience the feeling of changing running speed, and running fast well. If it starts to feel like hard work, slow down your effort sooner so you can keep your focus on using the right technique.
Focus of the week – stretching after a run
If you’re like me, you may be running or working out more than usual to get the most from your allowed exercise time during lockdown. This extra force on your legs can result in tired muscles and increase your risk of injury. Stretching after your runs will help recovery, and improve both flexibility and strength. It also increases your range of movement which will help you run better, so don’t neglect it.
If you need inspiration, check out this NHS guide. Try and stretch after every run but, if you really don’t have time for every stretch, focus on the areas you feel are tired/inflexible/hurting. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/how-to-stretch-after-a-run/